My civil partner is Scottish but we live in England.
Our first son, born to my partner by an anonymous, identity release American donor in 2006, was later adopted by me. [Identity-release or open-identity sperm donors are willing to have their identity released to adult offspring]. Our second son by the same donor was born to myself earlier this year. We are not planning to try for any more children ourselves though would consider adoption or long term fostering in future.
My partner had about six intrauterine insemination (IUI) treatments followed by two in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatments, then a very problematic pregnancy. I had one operation and four IVFs, followed by my pregnancy, which seemed straight forward compared to our first son.
We became civil partners while my partner was pregnant. I changed my surname after that. At that time, I could not be named as the second parent on the birth certificate so I adopted our first son. By the time our second son was born, the law had changed and we are both parents on the birth certificate.
Emotionally, when treatment does not work for long periods, it is very difficult. It put strain on our relationship with friends who had no difficulty having children.
When you go to a clinic the process is very medical from the start. Many of the processes have unpleasant side effects or are painful and involve taking time off work at short notice. It is all quite stressful. The treatment process was very demanding physically, emotionally and financially, but we feel very lucky to have two wonderful sons.
The huge financial cost has given us about £20k additional debt, which makes our finances very tight.
We have a very strong relationship and quickly learnt to seek support from friends and family.
My advice? Don’t put everything else on hold whilst trying to have your family.